It Happens So Fast

By Melinda Clements


          In our world today things really do happen fast.  All of us have to be able to think on our feet, make decisions with little thought, and do our best at multitasking.  It doesn’t matter if it is something with our job, relationships, family, or just daily living things just happen really fast.

          I hear many times about how relationships just moved so quickly and then the first we knew we were married, or pregnant, or fired, or homeless, or financially strapped, or hooked on drugs, or drinking to much, or divorced, or cheating, and so on and on goes the list of things that suddenly complicate our lives because things just happened to fast. 

          It seems that today we have all the modern conveniences and technologies to make our lives easier and less complicated.  Gadgets and items that are supposed to save us time and headache and do the work for us are more prevalent than any other time in history and yet, we are all scrambling and searching for more time to spend alone or with loved ones. We are all working more hours in the day for less money to do more things we really have no time to do in the first place.

          Things happen so fast and yet there is little time to do the things we love to do or really need to do.  Why is that?

          I often wonder just how long it has been since you walked outside for a minute and just listened to the wind blow or listened to a bird sing.  I sat in my living room last night and just listened.  My husband asked me what I was doing and I told him listening and he said, “I don’t hear anything.”

          However, two television sets were on, the microwave was running, the clothes dryer and washer were on, the CD player in my son’s room was on, a siren screamed in the distance, the air conditioner unit was running and the neighbor’s dog was barking, and in that same instant the phone rang. And he didn’t hear anything?  He didn’t hear anything because they were all sounds we listen to all the time.

          Have you ever heard the saying “Silence is golden”?  Has it ever been so quiet you could hear your heart beat?   

          It is the same way with things happening so quickly.  We live in a fast paced, think on your feet kind of world.  People date and get married in a hurry.  People have kids in a hurry and then rush to get it all paid for and all of them raised and educated.  They hurry to work each day to earn the money they will need to hurry and retire while they are still young enough to enjoy their riches.  People divorce quickly.  Kids hurry to school, then to basketball, baseball, piano, and gymnastics and hurry home to get their lessons to get to bed so they can hurry through tomorrow just like they did today.

          “Things were happening way to fast,” I heard one young man say about his resent split with his fiancée. “I just didn’t know her very well and I was afraid I was rushing into something I couldn’t handle.”

          I heard the same thing from a senior student at our high school who found out she was pregnant about three weeks before graduation.

          “Things just happened so fast,” she said. “I just got in over my head so fast and now all my career plans are shot.”

          It is almost like we are afraid so be still, afraid to slow down and think about things.  It is almost like the faster we live the less we have to think about all the things that are so quickly rushing past us.

          There is a scripture in the Bible that says, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

          Things don’t happen quickly with God.  Things don’t happen way to fast when He is directing the things in our lives. 

          I sometimes think that is the way the devil gets a foothold on our situations and circumstances.  If we are moving to fast, in to big a hurry, scrambling to find more time in each and every day where is there time to pause a moment and spend a second with the Lord of your life?  Where is there time to listen to your heartbeat and just reflect on the situation?  I think the devil counts on that.  And sadly to say he uses that against us repeatedly and suddenly we cannot understand how things got so out of hand so quickly.       

          I think it was Wayne Muller who said in his book Sabbath, “Life is what is happening when you are to busy to notice.”

          It is like one day you get up and you look around and things are suddenly very different.  You have grown children, you have a few gray hairs, you lost some of your friends or family along the way and you ask yourself, “Is this all there is?  Is this what it is really about?”

          Things happen quickly, things get out of hand quickly, and lives are gone quickly. 

          “Be still and know that I am God.”

          Take a deep breath.  What do you smell?  Look around.  What do you really see?  Close your eyes and listen.  What do you really hear?

          “Be still and know that I am God.”

          Slow down and take a moment to see what you are missing.  Take a moment to look at your child like he is right at this moment.  Study his face and look at his hands.  Take a moment to sit in the floor and rub your dog’s tummy.  Take a moment to hold your cat and listen to her purr.  Take a moment to take your spouse’s hand and tell him or her how much you missed them today and how you wished you had not been in such a hurry to leave for work that you forgot to hug them goodbye.  Take a minute to look at your mom or dad and notice how tired they are and how they somehow look older.  Take a moment to sit on your front or back porch step and look into the clouds in the sky and say, ”I’m still, Father God.  And thank you for this minute and for being there even when I don’t take the time to say hello.”

          Things happen quickly. Lives are begun, lived, and shattered in a moment.  I had a lady tell me that she just wished she had had three minutes with her child before she lost him.  I had a man tell me that he wished he had just taken a minute to tell his wife he loved her.

          Things happen quickly.  Things move to fast.  Don’t let that be the devil’s advocate.  Beat him at his own game.

          Don’t let things happen so quickly that your mind cannot really remember how it was or what happened.

          Take a deep breath and look around.  Silence roars and in the hush of that roar speaks a thousand thoughts that you may have been too busy to hear.  A thousand warnings or blessings that you may have needed to heed or acknowledge. 

          “Be still and know that I am God.”



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(C) Melinda Clements / 2005/